Fall Nails: a few quick tips

Posted in Fashion, Hands and Feet, Nails with tags , , on September 1, 2008 by pixelbrat

The Fall 2008 collections across the board scream one thing (and trust me, this is practically my favorite thing) and that’s Goth!  In a big way.  Not exactly the same kind of goth that 15 year olds sport at the mall, more of a grown up and sumptuous version.  A key to the look is dark nails.  Anyone who’s ever tried to wear black nail polish however will know that some things look a little… off.  So here are some tips to get the look you are going for:

- For deep purples, reds, and black or metallic colors short nails are the way to go, especially if you are going after the Fall runway looks or punk rock.  Longer nails tend to look more Morticia and Halloween-ish.  

- Chipped nails are in according to the fashion magazines.  I’m all for this since I have been unabashedly wearing chipped nail polish for years now.  

- Depending on the nail polish and brand, darker colors tend to leave more traces of color than light ones.  I admit it, no matter how bad for you it is, I always end up with cheap nail polish that has all of those awful chemicals in it since usually nail polish is an impulse buy.  What sucks is that you have to use more nail polish which is even worse than the cheap polish itself.  I find one of those little corrector pen things is really great.

If you’re nervous about a color go ahead and try it you really might like what you see.  For the ultra conservative try your toes first and see if you completely hate it.  Have fun, it’s only makeup!

I am super into my bright scarlet nails at the moment: it’s been years since I wore red nail polish.

M.A.C. Cult of Cherry Release

Posted in eyes, face, Lips, Nails, Palettes, Reviews, Upscale Brands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by pixelbrat

Cult of Cherry promo by M.A.C.

 

Cult of Cherry promo by M.A.C.

 

 

      Today M.A.C. released their Cult of Cherry line for fall 2008.  This was an early release since it wasn’t supposed to be released until September.  However, I am thrilled and Cult of Cherry is basically LOVE.  I am completely into the gothy-glam-1920s or whore-ish look.  I love the fall looks on their site as well the Glamazon is my favorite - but I am a sucker for huge ’90s style crimped hair.  I love the sex appeal, channeling the best of the ’70s and ’90s as well as punk rock and high fashion.

       Also, thumbs up to the awesome ad on the launch page.  I think the last bit about the pies are the best part.  I am digging the fall looks with the cult of cherry line as well.  I love the Jampacked template look of sheer colors on the face and deadly saturated lips.  As far as products: I have to say the Illegal Purple nail varnish tops my list as best thing I have seen.  This may be completely biased though since I have been missing my favorite deep purple nail polish I used up a year or two ago and couldn’t find a suitable replacement for, this might be it though.  Russian Red lipstick as well and the entire damn line of the Mattene lipsticks scream MUST have.  The Cult of Cherry lipglass I think looks nice but, at the moment I feel like I have more lip glosses than I will ever possibly use so I’ll probably pass.  Again, the cheek colors don’t scream need to have and really I generally don’t use blush anyway.  The eye shadow quads really don’t appeal to me at all.  However, if I HAD to pick one I think I’d go with Shadow Lady since it has the purples.  I’m just not digging that blue in it really but the other colors are great.  For some reason I’m just not seeing in the other quads anything I think I’d wear either together or seperate.  The whole line seems to complement the fall looks everywhere but vamp it up to a new level of rich (which is totally why I love M.A.C.)  I think the deeply saturated lips are totally in for fall and I can’t wait.

      Bonus points: all but the shadow quads which are priced on the website at $36.00 (USD) are under $20.00.  Complete score, even though I’m broke and unemployed I can probably scrape together enough cash to get my nail polish and at least one lipstick.  The Cult of Cherry line, provided it doesn’t like so many of my other favorite M.A.C. lines, sell out will only be available until October 2008 so get it while you can.

Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup

Posted in face, Foundation, Reviews, Upscale Brands with tags , , on August 20, 2008 by pixelbrat

      I spent most of the afternoon playing with makeup and trying to figure out how to make Urban Decay’s new Surreal Skin powder packaging work for me. I have to say it totally HATE it. I didn’t have anything under more than moisturizer but if I did I think the foundation or whatever would just got stuck in that little pouf thing and none of the powder would come out. I can’t tell how much actually came out and adhered to my skin and not the pouf anyway. I think I might cut the damn pouf thing off and hope I can still get my brush in there. Urban Decay needs to get their act together with this horrid packaging trend if I’m paying their prices I’d at least like to be able to get all of my product.  It’s difficult to say if the coverage is bad or what, when you’re not sure you’re getting any on your face.  On the website, they say to “puff” it on – but if I “puff” nothing comes out.  In practice for me it’s more like beat my face with the thing.  I’m not a fan of something I think I’ll probably get bruises from using.  It’s possible to unscrew the pouf cap and use a brush, but I think if you tried to use the pouf at first you might have lost obscene amounts of product under the puff.  Dipping a brush directly into the powder leaves way to heavy of coverage to be even marginally simple to apply.  Not to mention, I most likely won’t be able to finish the product as is and with a $29.00 price tag that’s kind of steep.  I don’t usually spend minimally on foundation stuff and I love the Urban Decay products but the packaging is getting pretty awful and tempting me to disregard them all together.

      The positives are despite it’s inaccessibility to the product the packaging is kind of pretty being purple and decorated with swirls and flourishes.  Also, I like that it’s clear so I can see how much powder is left in there.  Well, I guess it’s incorrect to call it “powder” it’s “minerals” which Urban Decay explains as containing no talc, oils, artificial dyes, or fragrance.  Another good thing.  Plus, the “open” and “close” are clearly labeled for use of the pouf thingie which is nice since it’s powder.  Additionally, it’s not super shimmery and I don’t feel it on my face.  I suspect the pouf might be nice for traveling or keeping in your purse.

     I have to give it a 3 out of 10 for the packaging but I’d put the product at a 5 with better packaging.  For the price I’d like a little more powder to give a higher rating.

New Scent! or the search for the perfect fragrance

Posted in Frangrance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2008 by pixelbrat

      Currently, I am down to only one scent choice so it’s time to get some new frangrances.  I need to get some more of Demeter’s Cannabis Flower. I love that stuff.  It smells like pot – but really good pot and it’s got a hint of flora as well.  It’s a very green (meaning herbal) scent with a light floral note so even if you don’t smoke (which I don’t) still check it out.  Not to mention it contains THC which it claims, but I have no scientific evidence, can be absorbed and improves mood.  It certainly makes me happy!  Some other scents by Demeter I’d like to try include; Violet, Birthday Cake, Vanilla Cake Batter, Gin & Tonic, Dandelion, and Champagne Brut.

      I really want to order some stuff from Pixie Potions on Etsy.  I’m especially interested in “Ultra Violet” for myself since I like old fashioned flora scents sometimes and the “Bay Rum” for J as he is a pirate.  Daisy by Marc Jacobs has a lot of nice reviews and quite a few people have mentioned it to me. I am concerned it might be too flora or give me headaches.  I used to like really floral scents. I wore Lucky You by Liz Claiborne every single day throughout high school but mostly I’ve out grown it.  Heavy scents tend to give me massive migraines until I get used to them and really, I’m not willing to go through that anymore having found Detemer which never leaves me feeling bad.  Another option is Love by Anna Sui.  I LOVE the bottle-I love all of Anna Sui’s bottles.  A few years ago when Seophra carried it I remember thinking I liked the fragrance as well.  Since Sephora stopped carrying it though I could only get it online so no chance to scent test it again.  Next up for consideration is Pink Sugar by Aquolina: smells like candy, LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Bonus: it comes in a solid version so extra portable found at Sephora.  I love solid scent compacts for a night out where things can heat up and funkifiy rather quickly.  Lush makes a Karma perfume solid and oil. I love patchouli and usually I like the other Karma Lush products.  Next is Trouble Maker by David and Goliath found at Perpetual Kid – but really I think it’s Demeter who makes it.  I’m pretty sure. Cannabis flower, white flowers, tobacco flower, and leather all mixed in one… sounds super hot.  

      At the moment I have Princess by Vera Wang and I completely love it. But, it’s a little old now and doesn’t last that long. I really should get the solid Princess glitter stick so I can put it in my purse so I don’t get funky while I’m out.  I see at Sephora there is a new version of Princess called Flower Princess but I’m not sure if it’s worth it to buy more of the same or I should try something new.  One of the reasons I am so in love with Princess is the lightness of the flora notes and the prominence of the candy notes.  I find the candy or more food like scents to be much easier wearing these days.  I also have some Euphoria by Calvin Klein left but really it’s way to heavy for summer and tends to give me a headache.  I don’t really like the scent at all it’s WAY to heavy for me.  Also, I think for some reason it kind of smells like grapes or wine maybe?  I completely admit I bought it for the bottle alone and it is shiny and pretty enough I am happy with that.  However one squirt of Euphoria lasts all day – but then again, since I react badly to it, that’s not such a good thing for me.

LashBlast Review

Posted in Drugstore Brands, eyes, Reviews with tags , , on August 13, 2008 by pixelbrat

     Recently I purchased the CoverGirl LashBlast mascara in the darkest black (and waterproof). I think it’s pretty awesome. The brush is a little scary, it’s like a fucking rubber pinecone that’s tapered at one end.  On the CoverGirl website a lot of people complained about the brush but I’ll get to that in the next paragraph on the cons. As intimidating as the brush is, I think it’s worth it. The stuff makes your lashes ridiculously full.  For me, they’re very full and dense appearing at the base then come out nicely.  The color is super dark which helps gives the dense appearance and for me, that’s why I wear mascara.  It stayed on until I took it off and didn’t run in the shower.  As a bonus, this mascara didn’t *feel* like I was wearing anything either.  For me sometimes mascara can feel kind of gunk-y on my lashes even if it doesn’t clump and make my eyelids feel a little heavy.  This didn’t do that at all.  I don’t remember the price exactly but I think it was pretty cheap compared to non-drugstore brands like Urban Decay and Too Faced who both make comparable quality mascara.
     The downside is the pinecone-like applicator, which probably plays a huge role in the way the lashes look. The secret of it seems to be proper mascara application. Be sure to tilt your head back when applying it because I think hitting yourself in the eye with this would hurt.  Plus, it sucks to mess up your eyeshadow with dots of mascara on it (unless that’s what you were going for in which case right on). Shaky hands can also render a lashline clump so be careful.
     Despite the risks, I still think it’s worth it and give a 9 out 10.

Check out the lashes (and please ignore the badly blended bronzer it’s very dark in my bathroom).  The picture was taken after only one application as well – and not a particularly heavy one either.

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RimmelLondon Cover the Blemish Concealer Review

Posted in Concealer/Corrections, Drugstore Brands, face, Reviews with tags , , , on August 11, 2008 by pixelbrat

     In general, my experience with makeup and all kinds of cosmetics has been that you get what you pay for. So my advice in general, is: don’t waste your money on shit. This does not mean I think you need to spend a lot of money to look good.  I am not one of those beauty bloggers about to tell you you have to spend hundreds to look great – or that you need makeup or any shit to look great for that matter.

      That being said, I am super pleased with the emergency makeup purchases I had to make today before my second interview this morning. First, I had to get some concealer because I could not go to the interview with the dark circles under my eyes. When I got to Target I basically went straight for the Rimmel section because well, I was super impressed with the purple kohl eyeliner I bought last time. Not to mention with the likes of Amy Winehouse endorsing them well – they have to have something going on.  Plus, Kate Moss is the face of Rimmel and I love Kate… she’s so pretty. Regardless the Hide the Blemish concealer is completely ammmmazing. Gorgeous texture, nice application overall it’s an 8 out of 10.  It’s very creamy, so I was afraid it might settle into the lines but it really didn’t. Let me clarify, since application four or five hours ago it hasn’t settled into any lines. It’s also stayed put very well so I’m well pleased.  The only problem I really see with the concealer is honestly it only comes in three shades: goth, pale, and normal white person which basically really sucks.  Rimmel’s website makes the colors seem much darker than they are because I saw the entire line (or at least that they sell at Target) and nothing for a person of color or even someone who tans was in sight.
     I know it’s supposed to be a tone lighter than your skin but for me that never works and I always try to match my skin as much as possible with concealer – I don’t need to be any paler. So that’s pretty bad … but for all the pale gals at least there is finally someone making makeup that you can find in a drugstore that doesn’t assume you worship the fucking sun. When I was in high school the only lines that made foundations pale enough was M.A.C.

Stuff for the Guys

Posted in Drugstore Brands, Frangrance, Hair, Indie & Etsy, Men, Products, Skincare, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 8, 2008 by pixelbrat

       My partner J was raised by hippies. Not just people who give to Greenpeace and whatever else but honest to god Rainbow Family, granola eating, back to the landers. Growing up, he did not use any body products at all (except soap).  Of course this causes some problems.  If you got to 25 without using these things which I will admit are bad for your body, and suddenly assault your skin with them you will have problems. So I have tried to minimize this by using “natural” products and whatnot. At the moment he uses Axe and something else – both of which irritate his skin so I am trying to convince him to try other stuff.  The first fight I will have to win is to get him to get over this idea of his that he should not wear cologne. My reasoning is a high quality oil based scent would do a lot of good for him since he gets really sweaty and funky.  Axe only goes so far and he has to re-apply a few times a day. Plus, I really don’t like it.  As a feminist, I am hugely offended at the horrible, hateful towards women ad campaigns they constantly use.  I do not appreciate being portrayed as if I am some kind of wild animal that will track down and have crazy sex with a man who’s wearing this stank juice.  Additionally, Axe uses a lot of synthetic scents that trigger migraines for me so it’s not exactly something that makes me want to be around him if he has just sprayed. I have at least got him to use the Karma Komba shampoo bar from Lush and mmmmm… at least when the rest of him is Axe-stinky his hair smells like patchouli.

     So  I have scoured Etsy and at Lush (yes, I am a Lushie) to keep him groomed and (hopefully) smelly good and comfortable.  Here’s what I came up with:
Pixie Potions Perfume Wands look like a really good option since he can keep it with him plus a good variety of scents including like Bonfire, Bay Rum, Black Licorice, Patchouli, and Witches Brew sounds pretty unisex as well.
Handsome Devil Bay Rum Aftershave Balm by Pretty Monsters to keep his face smooth and soft.
Lush’s Demon in the Dark clove and minty soap.
Coalface face soap by Lush to clear up his complexion.
Demeter makes a few masculine fragrances as well like; Bourbon, BonfireGin & Tonic, Glue, Leather, Myrrh, New Zealand, Rain, and Dirt.

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